introducing. tiny giants.

interview. nivardo valenzuela

photos. tiny giants

Tiny Giants is a collaborative group between Ryan Chang (DJ Rugz) and Andrew Seo (RomBomb) with a growing presence in the Los Angeles/San Diego electronic music scene.

Vaffanculo Mag (VM): How did Tiny Giants come to be?

Ryan Chang (RC): We first met in high school. We were in separate bands, I was in a band called We Are the Abstract and he was in a band called The Nards. There was definitely some friendly competition. I remember playing a few shows with them and thinking "man, we gotta have a better show than these guys." As our band days grew old, we got closer and realized that we had very similar, almost identical tastes in music. And when I heard that Andrew DJed, I fell in love and wanted to get into it as soon as possible. He was the first person to ever show me a mixer or a turntable and how it worked. He was also the person who let me borrow his mixer when I bought my first turntables. Since then, we've been spinning together at multiple parties, clubs, and organized events.

Andrew Seo (AS): We started the group about a year ago when we began to do a lot more gigs and shows together. We have been establishing ourselves separately as DJs in the past two years. We always played together at shows, tag teaming and switching on and off between the booth, and we thought, "Hey, why don't we just create a group together and start playing these gigs under one name?" We had the drive and ambition to fuel us. As for us meeting, Ryan pretty much sums it up. We both started out as band members separately playing the traditional rock and roll, punk, garage, pop, whatever. We knew of each other but never really worked together as he had his own band and creative ideas, as did I. As the years went by, we both slowly fell into the electronic world of music and I went out and bought my first mixer and turntables to start DJing. I remember meeting Ryan at a party I was DJing at and all he could do was watch what I did as I mixed one part of the song into the other. He kept asking me questions as to how much the equipment was, where I got it, what programs I was using and etc. I get these questions a lot from a bunch of curious people, but Ryan was the only one to call me back the next day to ask me the same questions, then go out and buy the equipment I told him about. This made me think, "Man, this kid is serious about this!" Ever since then, we have been trading and exchanging ideas of music, production and equipment.

VM: How would you describe your music style? You guys have similar taste in music, but when you don't, how do you compromise?

RC: My musical style ranges anywhere from hip-hop to electronic dance music to funk to disco to house. We may have some different tastes in music, but overall, I think we share an extremely similar interest. We share tracks all the time. As for compromise, the only time we really have to is when we play a last minute show and I don't know some of the new tracks he has on his computer (he is a blogging guru). In that case, I'll simply mix in the older songs while he mixes the newer songs in, resulting in a totally awesome show.

AS: My musical style comprises of anything. I love any type of music ranging from hip-hop, dance, electronic, funk, disco, garage, future, etc. The reason why Ryan and I work so well is the fact that we are both open to all types of music. Also the great thing about that is we have different taste, which helps open both our ears to new types of music. He'll find something I would have never found and show me, vice versa. As we both came from playing analog equipment, electric guitars, acoustic drums and vocals, it helps us to get a grasp of how different and similar the world of electronic music can be; it also helps us to input different creative ideas, for example, adding live drums or vocals to a DJ set. This is what's awesome when we work together, we can meet up, talk music and see how we can be creative in doing something different; it's mixing and mashing ideas! Its easy for us to compromise as we both are not one sided on our views of music, and also the fact that we can be honest with each other helps us to know if one person really likes the music or not.

VM: Who or what influences you?

RC: Andrew. As for artists, there are just so many. Our interests range from so many different genres that it is kind of hard to pinpoint exactly what influences us. But you can definitely hear our influences in our productions. We will leave that to the audience to decide.

AS: My influences ranges from many different people, but the people that inspire me the most are my friends and family. Ryan is definitely a huge part in that, as not only a partner in music, but as well as being a good friend. When we are both in the studio, he is a huge part in getting us to lay a good drumbeat, bass synth or even mixing music. As in part for artist, like Ryan said, there are just too many to name and we can let the audience decide that!

VM: Are you working on other side projects?

RC: As of now, I'm focusing on school but I am still making productions. I live in San Diego currently while Andrew lives in Los Angeles so it's kind of hard to work together all the time. So what usually happens is we separately create music on our own and eventually mesh those ideas together when we meet. For example, if I have a track that needs input, I'll show Andrew and he'll add onto it whatever he feels like, vice versa. We usually agree on the sound because of our similar interests.

AS: As Ryan said, it is hard for us to work person to person, but that doesn't stop us! We always send each other tracks, mixes, music or whatever we can when we get the chance. Tiny Giants, DJ Rugz, and Rombomb, is our main focus at the moment, trying to make our name as a collective as well as our [separate acts] grow. We are always open to work with other artists who have the same ambition as us! We also know of many good [artists] who are [working on] establishing themselves, who knows, maybe in the future we will all come together to create a mega super track? But till then, we'll let our minds flow free and see where it takes us!

for more on Tiny Giants visit:

Andrew Seo @RomBomb5 /// soundcloud

Ryan Chang @finertuning /// soundcloud